The Glenallachie Distillery in Aberlour (Photo: Simon Price/Firstpix Photography)
The Glenallachie Distillery in Aberlour (Photo: Simon Price/Firstpix Photography)

Christmas comes early for distillery

The GlenAllachie Distillery has capped a particularly productive and successful year with another award win.

Co-founder Billy Walker has been awarded Master Distiller/Master Blender of the Year at the Icons of Whisky Awards.

The distillery’s visitor centre was also Highly Commended in the Visitor Attraction of the Year category.

The win at the annual Icons of Whisky Awards, which are presented by industry bible Whisky Magazine, comes just months after The GlenAllachie won the Scottish Whisky Distillery of the Year 2019 at the inaugural Scottish Whisky Awards.

Billy said: ‘I’m over the moon to win this prestigious award, it’s a wonderful way to round off the year. When we first acquired the distillery, I knew it had massive potential. It’s been hugely exciting to be part of its reawakening and share our outstanding single malts with the world.

‘I’m particularly pleased that the visitor centre was Highly Commended. We’ve only been opened to visitors for just over seven months, and we have a growing team who deserve recognition for the work they’ve done to put The GlenAllachie back on the map.’

It’s been a remarkable rise to prominence for the distillery since Billy and co-founders Graham Stevenson and Trisha Savage took over in 2017. Prior to their arrival, the distillery, which was built in 1967, was relatively unknown and focused on producing malts for blends.

The Glenallachie Distillery in Aberlour (Photo: Simon Price/Firstpix Photography)

Since then, Billy and his team have built The GlenAllachie into a global independent whisky brand through a series of single malt releases and by opening the distillery to the public for the first time in its history.

The run of releases began in March 2018 with a special bottling of limited edition single cask whiskies to mark the 50th anniversary of the distillery’s maiden production run in 1968. The GlenAllachie’s first core range was unveiled in July, followed by a batch of single casks in November and the launch of MacNair’s Lum Reek, a blended malt Scotch whisky.

In May 2019, the distillery unveiled its visitor centre and shop, opening the distillery up for tours for the first time in over 50 years. In July, the distillery revealed its first Wood Finish range, which comprises three expressions. The following month, the distillery also added a 15-year-old single malt to its multi award-winning core range.

In October, two years to the day since The GlenAllachie Distillery was bought by Billy Walker and his team, The GlenAllachie launched Batch 3 of its Cask Strength series, and a new collection of five UK exclusive single casks.

The distillery’s team has also grown – in the last two years, the headcount has risen from 7 to 22.

Along the way, the GlenAllachie’s single malts and blends have been recognised with multiple awards including several gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition; five medals at the world-renowned International Wines and Spirits Competition (IWSC); and Golds at the International Spirits Challenge and World Whiskies Awards.